Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green has been charged with four counts of misdemeanour assault in the US over the weekend, which has thrown his group’s restructuring plans into fresh doubt.
The charges against the retail tycoon were filed in the state of Arizona on Friday and come after a fitness instructor alleged that Green repeatedly touched her inappropriately, according to the BBC.
The incident allegedly occurred at the Canyon Ranch resort in Tucson in 2016 and 2018. Green denies that anything ever occurred.
In a statement Arcadia said: “Sir Philip strenuously denies these allegations and is disappointed that the charges have been filed in his absence and they are minor categories of misdemeanour in the United States.
“Contrary to previous suggestions in the media there is no allegation of any sexual assault or misconduct made by the prosecution.”
The news comes ahead of a crunch week for Green and his retail empire, as his proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA) will be put to the vote on Wednesday.
In order for the restructuring proposal – which would shutter around 50 stores and slash rents on some 200 more – to pass, Arcadia needs 75% of its creditors to vote in favour.
As Retail Week reported last week, the CVA has been left hanging in the balance as Arcadia’s representatives struggle to come to an agreement with The Pensions Regulator and Pension Protection Fund.
As part of the proposal, Arcadia sought to halve its annual contribution to the pension scheme from £50m to £25m. In exchange, Green’s wife Tina offered a £100m cash injection into the scheme over three years.
Arcadia subsequently offered £185m to the scheme in additional funds, made up of property assets, to further reduce the deficit.
The regulator remained unmoved, however, and late last week it was reported it had demanded an extra £50m upfront to approve the proposal.